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California Supreme Court to hear marriage equality case

“So far in California, two judges have held that California’s Constitution protects same-sex couples and requires that they be free to marry and two have ruled that it doesn’t. The Supreme Court unanimously has agreed to hear our arguments, and we’re hopeful they’ll decide that same-sex couples have the same rights— including the right to marry — that different-sex couples enjoy.”
— Jon W. Davidson, Legal Director at Lambda Legal

Big news on the west coast. (365gay):

The California Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that upheld the state ban on gay marriage.

The case dates back to 2004 when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Some 8,000 couples exchanged vows before the state Supreme Court ruled Newsom had acted illegally.

The court nullified the marriages but said its ruling dealt only with Newsom’s actions.  The justices said at the time the question of whether barring same-sex couples from marrying violated the state’s equal protection clause of its constitution was a separate matter.

Legal challenges on the constitutional question were begun almost immediately. Three separate suits ultimately were wrapped together into a single case.

There are 11 same-sex couples plaintiffs in the case, known as In Re. Marriage, along with, Equality California, and Our Family Coalition.

As far as legislative efforts re: marriage equality in the Golden State, Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has submitted the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act bill, which would would redefine marriage as a a civil contract between two persons. It moves to committee early next year.

Hat tip, Miss Wild Thing.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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